“What you are about to watch is a nightmare. It is not meant to be prophetic, it need not happen, it's the fervent and urgent prayer of all men of good will that it shall never happen. But in this place, in this moment, it does happen. This is the Twilight Zone.” - Intro to the Twilight Zone episode “The Shelter” .
How many people know that you are a survivalist? How many of them know where you live, where your supplies are, or where you plan to bug out? In the Twilight Zone episode quoted above Doctor Stockton's neighbors all knew he had a bomb shelter, and they came running. This post is about what I think will likely happen WSHTF. It's not so much about what you should do to prepare for an actual event, I'm not even going to specify whether or not it is an Oil Crisis, an Earthquake, or what not. What this post is really about is everyone else.
Doctor Stockton, the character in the Twilight Zone episode the shelter was stuck with a moral dilemma of having to refuse his poker buddies from entering his shelter because their was only enough food and air for his family. That was fiction, but the reality is very few people are prepared for even the minor of events, let alone big ones.
Brigadier General David L. Johnson (ret.), of NOAA predicted seven to nine hurricanes that season, three to five which would likely make landfall. 1 After Hurricane Katrina hit, it was noted that “Residents in hurricane vulnerable areas who had a plan, and took individual responsibility for acting on those plans, faired [sic] far better than those who did not." 2 On August 28th 2005 Hurricane Katrina peaked as a Category Five, it took seven days to dissipate from it's start on August 23rd. By September 1st, Mayor Ray Nagin ordered 1,500 police officers to leave their search-and-rescue mission, and return to the streets to stop looting, not all people who needed rescue had yet been found. It was even until 19 hours after the hurricane had made landfall that the order to evacuate the city was given, as a last resort, places such as the Super Dome were used as emergency shelter, without any preparations for food, water, or sanity needs.3
It never ceases to amaze me how fast the local grocery store will empty of a certain product if there is a media release that it will soon be in short supply. It is also noteworthy to mention that the news media is always behind the times in reporting low volumes of food goods, by the time they release a story on the six o'clock news, many survivalists in the know have already stocked up months before. In addition, they tend to get things wrong on the outset, Y2K is as classic an example as Leap Year Bugs will be in the future.
When the Y2K bug was reported in the media, many people became so called survivalist over night, I personally remember thinking to myself that I might be able to get some good supplies in January of 2000 as a result of people selling off what they had recently acquired before the new year, but the deals to be made never occurred, the local Buy and Sell was not full of ads of people changing there minds of becoming prepared. With forewarning people get ready, but as time passes they forget the fear they felt earlier. But this isn't always the case, many warning were given out to the Gulf Coast of hurricane, and the need to be prepared throughout the years, some of those warnings from Mother Nature herself, yet over 25,000 people found themselves in the Super Dome after Hurricane Katrina without even 72 hours of water.
I live on a flood plain, where the water mains often break and leak throughout the water table, and even thou each shopper can see that the local grocery store is stocking up with bottle watered, I know that just like last year, and the year before, this year they will run out of water because of last minute panic buying of the water.
In April 1986, one of the four high power channel reactors, providing 1000 megawatts of electric power, near the city of Prypiat, Ukraine went critical. The resulting fallout was four hundred times as much as the resulting fallout from Hiroshima. 4 The radioactive cloud reach over 30 countries.5 Two hundred and seven plant workers suffered from acute radiation sickness, of whom thirty one died within the first three months,6 mostly due to inadequate equipment.7 It took over twenty four hours before the order was given to evacuate the city of Prypiat. The residents were told that the evacuation was going to be only three days long.
The Pripyat river, and the Dnieper River reservoir basin, which covers 504,000 km², was effected with accumulated radiation of radioiodine: I-131, radiocaesium: Cs-137 and radiostrontium: Sr-90, however groundwater systems were not effected as these types of isotopes were largely absorb by top soils. 8 The range of related reported/expected deaths range from just over two hundred to over ten thousand depending on the factors that are included in the reports, however, it is without a doubt that the deaths could have been much higher if circumstances had been even remotely different. Regardless, the most important factors learned as a result of the Chernobyl were that the Russians Governments response was irresponsible to neighboring communities, if not out right criminal. They did not want the world to know, the government can not be trusted. (For the most recent news please visit Kid of Speed )
The number one thing you can expect from the local population around where you live, is that the major will be ill prepared, that they will panic, and that the government will be just as prepared as the people themselves.
This is a new thread for my blog, and this introduction is placed here even though I am not finished with my “Bug Out Bag” thread, mainly because there is going to be some cross over between the two.
I hope I have caught your interest, and you will continue to read the threads. I will also try to be more regular in my posts to the blog from now. I will attempt to make these thread updates appear every Friday.
2Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, written statement for a hearing on Global Oil Demand/Gasoline Prices, on September 6, 2005, submitted to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 109th Congress, 1st session.
3United States Congress (February 19, 2006) A Failure of Initiative: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. [PDF] Retrieved on 2006-04-10.
4National Geographic, April 2006
6Hallenbeck, William H (1994). Radiation Protection. CRC Press. p. 15. ISBN 0-873-719-964. "Reported thus far are 237 cases of acute radiation sickness and 31 deaths."